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DECOR SCORE- A Room With Too Much View? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rose Bennett Gilbert, Creative Syndicate   
Thursday, 08 March 2012 05:01


Maybe it's curtains for curtains when artwork can do their window-dressing job so easily.

Q: Our vestibule is just a few steps wide, but there is a window that faces the street. So we need privacy, but I hate to block the light with curtains or even a translucent shade.

Can you suggest another solution?

A: There are myriad ways to "privatize" your windows without actually blocking the light. One example: have window film applied to the glass. New technology has given us films that obscure the view from outside without affecting the scenery from within, or noticeably darkening the room. (A couple of sources to consider: and

Most high-performance window films must be professionally applied, but they promise to block both prying eyes and harmful UV rays. They even come in decorative finishes, such as frost, fabric patterns and matte.

Another, almost instant solution to your privacy problem is elegantly illustrated in the photo we show here. Simply cover the bottom third-to-half of the window and leave the top open to the light.

In this calm, classic setting, a small-framed drawing demurely obscures the lower panes of the window behind it. Propped on a lovely old chest, it draws attention from inside observers but thwarts peeking passersby outside.

Tip: cover the back of the art with, say, black felt so it still looks nice as you come up your own walk.

Let's hear it for such simple, common-sense solutions to seemly complex decorating problems. We borrowed this photo from a new book that's full of them, "The Joy of Decorating" by Phoebe Howard. Known as "Mrs. Howard" to her fans and readers, the author specializes in designing rooms that are Southern and traditional, yes, but always with a gentle twist that makes you look twice. Nice.

Q: Interested in taking the world's "Color Pulse"?

A: For obvious reasons, the pros over at Benjamin Moore and Co., who specialize in interior and exterior house paints, certainly are. So color expert John E. Turner has been tracking the hue and cry across the globe, and he is presenting his conclusions to design professionals as "Color Pulse 2013."

Since trends are fast to trickle down to the home front, here are highlights from Turner's recent talk to the International Furnishings & Design Assn.

• Prepare to get happy: "Colors are teaching us how to smile again," Turner enthused.

On his "Happy List" is a cheery yellow that "will be everywhere by 2014;" electric blues (with a touch of red); camel; "Alexander McQueen" pink ("with the chroma knob turned 'way up!'" and corals.

• Green's still going strong. Turner calls it "Kelly" green. In fact, according to Turner, green and blue are the "new neutrals."

• What's out? Metallics. "Surprises me, but I'm not seeing a ton of metallic," said Turner. Turquoise and teals are also on the down slope, and black-and-white is outta sight, at least, in Paris. "We saw no black-and-white at all in Paris!" Turner reported.

But don't dump your old decor just yet. In this era of "repurposing," Turner found houses made of used tires, as well as chairs fashioned from used T-shirts and old newspapers. He even recycled that well-worn adage, assuring that "Everything old is new again."

Rose Bennett Gilbert is the coauthor of "Manhattan Style" and six other books on interior design.


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